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‘Spellbound’ pop-up bar brings post-punk magic to the Opera House

May 18, 2019 Events / Whats On No Comments Email Email

From an opulent, post-punk pop-up bar and exclusive backstage tours to inclusive events and all gender bathrooms, the Opera House has announced its biggest ever program of offstage experiences that will transform the precinct during Vivid LIVE (24 May – 15 June).

The Opera House’s annual contemporary music takeover is part of Vivid Sydney, the largest festival of light, music and ideas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Experience the magic of Spellbound
Immerse yourself in a moody opulence inspired by the masters of Dutch still life and new wave punk typified by alt-rock legends The Cure at Spellbound. This year’s Vivid LIVE pop-up bar in the Opera House’s spectacular Concert Hall Northern Foyer has been conceived by the creative minds behind Newtown’s The Midnight Special and the Goldie’s Music Hall pop-up at Vivid LIVE 2018.

Indulge in brioche sliders with confit duck rillettes and a traditional Croque Monsieur (available “avec champignons” for vegetarians) at long banquet tables adorned with illuminated fruit centrepieces, bouquets in pewter urns, sheet music and skulls. Enjoy a botanical cocktail from Pyewacket’s Traditional Shrubs or a beer from local brewers Grifter Brewing Co. Moo Brew and Young Henrysunder punky neon lights. Black felt pool tables and leather couches complete the look, creating the perfect late-night haunt for music lovers and Light Walk devotees alike.

Leading Sydney DJs including Lucy Cliché, Mitch Tolman and Cristian O’Sullivan (Low Life) and Will Harley (Straight Arrows, BB & the Blips) will spin a selection of hits and B-sides from the likes of The Damned, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Siouxsie and the Banshees, New Order and Iggy Pop to create a dancefloor reminiscent of the 80s Blitz Club in London.

Open nightly until late from 24 May to 3 June. Opening times vary significantly each night. Check for up to date information to avoid disappointment.

Events for everyone

  • For the first time, Vivid LIVE will provide access to all gender bathrooms to ensure events are welcoming and inclusive for everyone.
  • An Audio Described Lighting of the Sails will allow patrons who are blind or have low vision and their companions to enjoy the spectacular animations with a live description and tactile elements.
  • People with Parkinson’s Disease and their friends and family will emulate the choreographed movements and intertwining shapes of Andrew Thomas Huang’s spectacular Austral Flora Ballet in a Dancing Connections Workshop. Run in collaboration with Dance for Parkinson’s Australia, the session aims to build strength and wellbeing and unite the community in the joy of dance.
  • Gig Buddies will pair music-loving volunteers with people with a learning disability to enjoy a night out at Vivid LIVE. The program includes tickets to Briggs’ Bad Apples House Party.
  • Keaton Henson: Six Lethargies will use multisensory orchestral performance and cutting-edge technology to translate Henson’s experiences with anxiety into audio-visuals.

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music and Curator of Vivid LIVE Ben Marshall says: “The experience of being in and around Sydney Opera House during Vivid LIVE is as unique off the stage as it is on. Carry on the high of a performance by dancing into the early hours, playing pool at the immaculate Spellbound bar or taking the Vivid LIVE backstage tour to see behind the scenes while the building’s cranking. I’m proud we‘re continuing to create an increasingly inclusive and thoughtful event, welcoming everyone in to experience Vivid LIVE.”

Explore behind-the-scenes
What you see on-stage is only half the story. The Vivid LIVE Backstage Tour provides an Access All Areas pass to the bustling backstage world of the Opera House in the charged moments before the evening’s performances. Step behind the curtain to explore nooks and crannies usually off limits to the public including the Opera House’s recording and broadcast studio. The exclusive evening tour ends with dinner and drinks in the Green Room – the private domain of crew and performers.

Tours run nightly at 5.30pm from 24 May – 3 June. Tickets are $175 per person.

Vivid LIVE 2019: Did you know?

  • Patrons will be able to enjoy their beverages in re-useable plastic Globelet cups, purchased with a $2 refundable deposit. This is part of an ongoing trial by the Opera House to look at ways to reduce single-use plastics across the site, expected to save more than 10,000 plastic cups from landfill during Vivid LIVE.
  • The Hidden Pulse, a collaboration with Hong Kong’s museum of visual culture M+, is a new five-day moving image program that takes music as its stimulus. The program includes free screenings and talks and a free video installation in the Drama Theatre by artist Stan Douglas.

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